Wagner Chief Urges Ukraine’s Zelenskyy to Abandon Bakhmut
The head of the Russian private military contractor, Wagner Cheif, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has urged Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to abandon the city of Bakhmut. In a statement published on his Telegram channel on Thursday, Prigozhin said that Bakhmut, which is located in the country’s Donetsk region, is a “pointless and stupid place to die.”
Wagner Chief Statement on Bakhmut:
The statement comes amid renewed fighting between Ukrainian government forces and Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, with both sides accusing the other of violating a ceasefire agreement that was reached in 2022.
According to Prigozhin, the fighting in Bakhmut is a “senseless and cruel war” that is being waged by the Ukrainian government against its own people. He called on Zelenskyy to “listen to the voice of reason” and withdraw his troops from the city.
Prigozhin also criticized the Ukrainian government for what he described as its “aggressive rhetoric” towards Russia, saying that it was only inflaming tensions in the region. He urged Zelenskyy to instead focus on finding a peaceful solution to the conflict.
The fighting in eastern Ukraine has been ongoing since 2014 when Russian-backed separatists seized control of the Crimean peninsula and sparked a conflict in the country’s eastern regions. Since then, the conflict has claimed over 13,000 lives and displaced over 1.5 million people.
The renewed fighting in Bakhmut is just the latest in a series of escalations in the conflict. Earlier this week, Ukrainian officials accused Russian-backed separatists of launching a missile attack on a hospital in the city of Kramatorsk, killing at least three people.
The conflict has also led to tensions between Russia and the West, with the US and other Western countries imposing sanctions on Russia in response to its involvement in the conflict.